On the Need to Shape the Arab Exile Body in Berlin
July 25, 2019 12:45 PM   Subscribe

The newcomers to Berlin were thrown under the weight of newfound political obligations to their countries of origin. Dislocating the Arab future from the grip of the political bankruptcy and moral morass in the Arab world might appear remote and relegated to the domain of quixotic dreams. But does it need to be that way? As communities are unsettled, resistances triggered, a chorus of voices fired up, waves of bodies set in motion for justice, and a range of emotions roused even when they no longer have an appetite, can the continued onslaught on reality not also reinvigorate political thought?
This new exile marvel is brewing in a cultural flux with questions that are only beginning to be raised. Exile is meant here, as Edward Said writes, as “the unhealable rift forced between a human being and a native place, between the self and its true home.” Additionally, exile transpires irrespective of one being banished from the homeland, living in legal limbo, studying at university, or even one who recently acquired German citizenship. We are talking about exile as a mental state, where even if you faced no political persecution if you chose to return to your country of origin, you would still feel alienated by a system that can no longer accommodate your innate or learned higher ideals.
posted by Ahmad Khani (2 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
"In a marvellous transformation, they could “no longer recognize their pre-2011 self.” Hence, the arrival in Berlin not only came with an incomplete political consciousness, but an anxiety to resist a return to the “weightless irrelevance of their personal affairs"".
-From the article.

Europe’s Long Experience with War, Persecution, and Refugees.

"The current refugee crisis is but one moment in the much longer history of refugees, immigrants, and displaced persons in Europe.

The traumatic experiences of forced migration mark the beginning of the 20th century in European history. As a result of the Balkan Wars (1912-1913) and World War I (1914-1918), the entire region of Eastern Europe saw a flood of millions of refugees.
posted by clavdivs at 1:03 PM on July 25, 2019

This is a fascinating essay, thank you for posting it.
posted by tavegyl at 10:01 AM on July 26, 2019

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